Staff Wellbeing Essentials, Benefits & Ideas
In this article, we are going to cover a range of aspects when it comes to staff wellbeing and its importance in the workplace.
Staff wellbeing has become increasingly talked about due to the impact of the pandemic and we’re here to give you a guide on not only supporting your staff but some of the benefits, as well as some staff wellbeing ideas.
Working with staff wellbeing can be challenging and the information provided here aims to make your job that little bit easier.
What is staff wellbeing?
Staff wellbeing, also known as employee wellbeing, is the state of a staff member’s physical and mental health, which are associated with working directly in the workplace. This can include their physical wellbeing, their posture while working at their desk, their relationships with managers, colleagues, and clients, as well as their mental health and emotional state.
How can you support staff wellbeing?
Firstly, it’s always a great idea to start with what staff need support with. If employees are stressed because of excessive workloads or unrealistic demands, then think about how you can implement strategies to help them through this. Whether it’s directly helping them with their workload, putting things in place to ease the pressure, or providing training on how to cope with the stress. This is a good start in supporting them.
Staff wellbeing is a broad topic and there isn’t a one-time fix. Wellbeing initiatives should be accessible, relevant, and impactful.
With many employees now working from home, services like wellbeing webinars are becoming increasingly popular as a way of supporting staff and employees with their wellbeing needs.
Employers should be looking at the needs of their teams and colleagues to determine what is best for the company, organisation, or workplace.
Initiatives such as mentoring and buddy systems are great ways to support new starters. This can help new team members feel valued, listened to, and help them to build confidence which is a great start in supporting wellbeing in their new job role.
Providing safe and comfortable spaces for staff to work and carry out their daily duties is an important factor when supporting staff. If employees are unable to carry out their daily tasks due to a lack of resources, support, training, or motivation, how can employers expect staff to perform to the best of their ability?
Having natural light, plants, and break areas is another way to promote positive wellbeing in the workplace. According to studies, plants in the workplace have been shown to improve air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction, so making a comfortable and green environment is likely to contribute to positive staff wellbeing.
Alternative services such as employee motivation sessions, away days, team building activities are all great additional schemes an employer can do to support the wellbeing of their staff.
What is a staff wellbeing strategy?
A staff wellbeing strategy is a plan, structure, and ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of its employees. Many organisations adopt a monthly, quarterly, or annual wellbeing strategy so that they can budget for relevant services accordingly. One of the easier strategies to follow is the annual wellbeing calendar. This gives a list of all the wellbeing events due to take place that year which an employer can follow.
Following the annual wellbeing calendar is an easier way to cover generic wellbeing-related topics, however, just because April is stress awareness month, it doesn’t mean staff won’t experience stress outside of April. This is why it’s important to monitor your staff and deliver relevant services all year round.
Services like Coping with stress webinars and workshops are initiatives that can be delivered all year round and act as a great way of contributing to the support of staff wellbeing.
Employees seem to appreciate organisations that adopt a wellbeing strategy that isn’t just focused on a tick box exercise. Having a dedicated wellbeing lead or ambassador to organise such events helps to show staff that there is a genuine commitment to their wellbeing.
48% of staff who state their employer doesn’t care about their wellbeing feel less motivated and have considered looking for a new job. Companies who take staff wellbeing seriously can reduce turnover by up to 87%.
What are the benefits of supporting staff wellbeing?
When it comes to supporting staff and their wellbeing there are countless reasons why this can be beneficial to both employer and employee.
Some of these benefits include:
- Increase productivity – A happy workforce is a productive workforce. When staff are feeling healthy, they tend to display healthier behaviours, such as an increase in productivity, concentration, awareness, as well as improved decision making.
- Reduce staff stress – According to the HSE in 2020 17.9 million working days were lost in the UK due to stress, depression, or anxiety.
- Attract better talent – According to Forbes, showing potential employees that you care about their health and wellbeing, in some cases, can be the deciding factor as to whether they join your organisation or not.
- Increase job satisfaction – There has been shown to have a direct correlation between job satisfaction and health.
- Reduce sick leave and time off work – 55% of working days lost are due to stress, depression, and anxiety, and companies that focus on employee wellbeing can help to reduce shocking statistics like these.
What are some staff wellbeing ideas?
Lunch and Learns
Lunch and learns are quite a popular wellbeing initiative. They can be pretty inexpensive to run and they’re a great way to get teams together and educate them on a range of topics. A lunch and learn typically has a guest speaker and the company often provides lunch for their employees.
Some companies invite employees to speak on topics they’re knowledgeable about which also helps to save costs.
Lunch and learns must be optional as this is not to everyone’s liking, but it’s a great way to help keep staff motivated, provide them with new and fun information, as well as get colleagues together.
During the pandemic, this has been difficult, but some companies have opted for engaging wellbeing webinars as a way of incorporating this into their monthly wellbeing strategy.
Wellbeing Champions are volunteers among staff who focus on improving the health and wellbeing of their colleagues. Having wellbeing champions among staff can help to generate ideas, incentives and provide peer support for employees. Wellbeing champions are another way of empowering individuals but also showing your staff that you have a genuine commitment to their wellbeing.
Weekly Exercise Classes
We all know that exercise has many benefits and this remains true whether in or outside the workplace. Regular exercise has been shown to help reduce the chances of a range of health issues including Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more!
Providing weekly exercise classes such as yoga, boxing, circuit training, or even things like running clubs, are all initiatives that can be implemented as part of your wellbeing strategy.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
To some members of staff, work-life balance can feel like an impossible feat. Staff who feel that they may lose their job or be punished if they can’t meet the demands of their job, often allow work to interfere with their personal life. Employers mustn’t allow this to happen. Working extended working hours has been shown to contribute to employee stress which can often lead to time off work and breakdowns.
Start a Wellness Wall
Having a wellness wall is just one of the ways staff can share their tips on improving their wellbeing. It’s also another way to get wellbeing ideas directly from employees. Using ideas given by staff to support their wellbeing is another way to show them that they are being listened to, and you are taking action on their suggestions. Of course, not everything will be appropriate but it’s good to see how staff feel and implement their ideas.
Provide a Massage Service
Massage has been shown to have a range of benefits including:
- reducing stress
- improving circulation
- reduce muscular tension
- improve sleep
The benefits are countless.
On-site massage is yet another way to help staff’s physical and mental wellbeing. Having a chair massage for as little as 15 minutes can significantly improve employee mood, reduce stress, reduce muscular tension, and more!
For more information on bespoke staff wellbeing training please get in touch here!
Tyler Lowe – Health & Wellbeing Speaker
BSc Sport & Exercise Rehabilitation